South Carolina Becomes The Tenth State To Contemplate Anti-Immigrant Legislation

Since ThinkProgress reported that several states and localities are in the middle of — or about to embark on — copy cat pieces of legislation, three other states have also expressed interest in adopting Arizona’s law, increasing the total list up to at least 10 states that are following in Arizona’s footsteps. In Oklahoma, Republican legislators want to go beyond the harsh immigration measures they have already passed and amend several bills to insert the new language. Meanwhile, the two leading Republican candidates for Minnesota governor said they’d “favor an Arizona-style immigration crackdown in Minnesota.”

However, while the plans of other states are still in their formative stages, South Carolina became the first state yesterday to go as far as introducing an actual bill in its House of Representatives that is “virtually the same” as the Arizona law. South Carolina’s local CBS7 reports:

On Thursday, Rep. Eric Bedingfield, R-Greenville, introduced a bill that he says is “virtually the same” as the Arizona immigration law that was signed recently.

“It provides a procedure for verifying a person’s immigration status under certain circumstances and provides for the arrest of a person suspected of being present in the United States unlawfully,” Bedingfield says.

He says it wouldn’t usually be used by police to stop someone, but would more likely be used to check the legal status of someone who had been stopped or arrested for something else.

Watch it:

Though Bedingfield is “confident he can get a committee hearing and a vote in the House,” CBS7 points out that he has missed South Carolina’s May 1st crossover deadline which dictates that a bill has to have passed either the House or the Senate by May 1st to have a realistic chance of becoming law. At this point, Bedingfield’s bill would have to be approved by a two-thirds vote just to be considered.

Meanwhile, in Texas and California, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) are the most recent conservative governors to condemn Arizona’s law and affirmed that they would not sign off on such a measure in their own states.